Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet Marissa Meyer The Lunar Chronicles
Scarlet Marissa Meyer cover The Lunar Chronicles

Title: Scarlet 
Author: Marissa Meyer 
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2 
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Retelling, YA 
Publication date: February 5, 2013 
Rating: ★★★★ 

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

I lied to you about a lot of things... 
but I meant every apology.

After finishing Cinder, I really didn’t feel like picking up Scarlet. Because why on earth would I want to read about some new girl when it was Cinder I loved? I wanted her and I wanted Kai - not some random newbies and a new story I didn’t care about. Obviously that was before I fell in love with Scarlet Benoit.

In general, I think I liked this book even better than the first one. Cinder had a couple of major flaws. Predictability the main one. But also that awful, AWFUL scene at the ball (which I couldn’t elaborate on before, because I would have spoiled too much and now I finally can) I hated the way she acted there. The whole no-you-can’t-marry-Levana-because-you-are-in-love-with-me part and the pathetic way she tried to kiss him to convince him almost made me throw up. Fiew, glad I can finally get this out of my system. Apart from that scene (which from now on I will pretend does not exist), I still thought Cinder was pretty awesome. And Scarlet is even better, so YAY.

Scarlet Benoit is the new main character in this book and I instantly loved her. Her independence, bravery and strength are admirable. She doesn’t care what people think of her, but she cares a lot about other people. Her grandma, whom she lives with, is a bit of a joke in town. Yet Scarlet never ceases to stick up for her. She’s also the only one who tries defending Cinder, when she’s all over the news after everything that happened in book 1. She genuinely cares and that’s the most beautiful thing there is. Scarlet tries to avoid prejudice and that gives her an entirely different perspective on the world. It’s also why she initially gives Wolf a shot.

You all should have some respect! That girl's going to be executed!

It became instantly clear Wolf was going to be Scarlet’s love interest. But I didn’t mind too much, because I immediately liked him. He was surrounded by a cloud of mystery and a touch of darkness - and that made him pretty much irresistible. He was troubled and probably not all he appeared to be, but I never doubted his good intentions when it came to Scarlet. And he really stepped up his game and proved to be a good and loyal friend. He started out as Scarlet’s companion in her search for her grandmother, but quickly became so much more. There was great chemistry between the two of them.

I think I realized that I would rather die because I betrayed them, than live because I betrayed you.

Another new - but greatly admired - character is Captain Carswell Thorne. A convicted criminal with a huge ego. He does everything in his power to appear casual and ‘cool’ and he tries to turn everything into a joke. Which makes for great scenes and a lot of humorous situations. But beneath that layer of carefreeness, there’s more to him. I think he might be a bit of a genius, actually. And even though we don’t get to see that side of him a lot in this book, I’m confident we will eventually.

When [Cinder] had gone, Thorne let out a low whistle. "I know, I know. She seems a little" - crossing his eyes, he swirled both fingers around his ears - "but it's really part of her charm, once you get to know her.

Three new characters that make one hell of a difference. They seriously improve everything. Cinder, Kai and Iko return and they’re as great as they were before, but in combination with our new friends, even they become more.

Each character follows his or her own path. There’s Scarlet’s quest to find her grandmother, Cinder’s quest for information, Kai’s quest to save his country, Wolf’s quest for freedom, Thorne’s quest to.. well, escape. It’s only in the end that all those different paths collide, but the building up is equally tense and enjoyable.

Cinder and Thorne meet in prison and they somehow end up helping each other escape. They become companions, not unlike Scarlet and Wolf. I particularly loved how Thorne never judged Cinder for what or who she was. Cyborg, lunar, princess… It didn’t matter at all. And even though Cinder never missed an opportunity to mention how much she disliked him, I think she secretly admired him for it.

A relieved grin filled up Thorne’s face. “We’re having another moment, aren’t we?” - “If by a moment, you mean me not wanting to strangle you for the first time since we met, then I guess we are.”

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1 comment:

  1. Whyy did I even ask what I should read next on Twitter ... Scarlet was one of the books I mentioned but after reading your review, I'm SO excited to get to it! I mean, everything you wrote down makes me really, really curious - I loved Cinder a lot and seeing that you liked Scarlet even more is AWESOME!

    Great review, by the way! I love how you write them so much! <3
    Yvonne @ A World Between Folded Pages

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